Meet the centipede from hell

his is the newly discovered Hades centipede. Image: J. Bedek

Scientists have discovered the world’s deepest underground dwelling centipede.

The insect was found by members of the Croatian Biospeleological Society in three caves in Croatia.

Recorded as deep as 1100 metres the new species has been named Geophilus hadesi, after Hades, the God of the Underworld in Greek Mythology.

“This finding comes to prove once again how little we know about the life in caves, where even in the best prospected areas, one can still find incredible animals,” says the Pavel Stoev of the National Museum of Natural History, Sofia.

The research is published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

Centipedes are carnivores which feed on other invertebrates. They are common cave inhabitants but members of this order, called geophilomorphs, usually find shelter there only occasionally.

Species with an entire life cycle confined to caves are rare.

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